A Final Portrait

I have been photographing my father since I became a photographer. It has been more important after I moved to Oregon and as he become older. I was never sure when the last time I would see him. The last I saw him was in the spring when he traveled from California enjoy an Oregon spring and take in the Rose Festival Parade, as I covered it for the Confederated Tribes of Grand newspaper Smoke Signals. He died on Nov. 3, after being taken to the hospital with a bladder issue.

At first he thought that photography was hobby and nothing to build a career, and I am sure that he was not too pleased when I decided that photography was something that I needed to pursue. The turning point was when he saw my first byline in the SFSU school newspaper when I had my first photo published on the front page. He looked and saw photo by Timothy J. Gonzales, looked up at me and said “I like that.”

My life hasn’t been an easy one.  There have been more times than I care to bring up when I needed his support. His support was unwavering. Even when I felt that I was a complete failure, he never treated me this way. He was the safe harbor in the turbulent seas that has been my life.

I went to see you. The mortuary made arrangements and you were on a gurney, wrapped in a blanket. As I reached down to touch you, your skin was cold, as you had just been removed from the refrigerated unit where you were stored waiting for cremation. As I looked at you I recognized you as my father, but not the essence of who you were. I was looking at the vessel that carried your spirit, your kindness, your stubbornness, all the things that made you who you were.

I needed to see you before you are cremated. I stood next to you and had a chance to tell you how grateful and thankful that I was able to call you Dad. My only wish was that I could have said this before you died. Your death came so quickly and out of the blue. It was cathartic to say goodbye to you.

Then with my camera I took your final portrait.

Oregon State Football

Before the start of the 2015 NCAA football season I was granted credentials to cover the Oregon State Beavers for their home season. I took a chance because I did not have any clients to shoot for.  I was also concerned because I hadn’t shot college football for a few years. My shifts at the Statesman Journal during the fall allowed me to cover high school sports. I thought that my skills would be a bit rusty, and during the first game I was hoping to have enough good and sharp action photos that I could start approaching clients.

Oregon State quarterback Seth Collins jumps over Weber State's Dosh Burton during the Beavers' 26-7 victory in the 2015 season opener in Reser Stadium, in Corvallis, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015.
Oregon State quarterback Seth Collins jumps over Weber State’s Dosh Burton during the Beavers’ 26-7 victory in the 2015 season opener in Reser Stadium, in Corvallis, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015.

In the second quarter I got this shot of OSU quarterback Seth Collins hurdling over a Weber State opponent. It was important to me to get good photos to boost my confidence. However, I never thought that an image like this come from my first game.

I thought that the image would just be posted on my website. After the game I was working next to Don Ryan, the AP staffer from Portland. He did not get the shot, for he was on the opposite side of the field. I offered the image to him, He was hesitant at first because I was not working for the AP, and said he would try to get me some money for the image, but could not make any promises.

This image was selected as an AP TOP PIX from the first weekend of college football.

I ended up not getting paid for this image, however I was offered and accepted AP’s offer to cover OSU for their remaining home season.

Last Saturday, Sept. 19, was my first game coverage for the AP.  Below are three of the images I moved from the game.

Oreogn State wide receiver Hunter Jarmon comes ontothe field before an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/ Timothy J. Gonzalez)
Oreogn State wide receiver Hunter Jarmon comes ontothe field before an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/ Timothy J. Gonzalez)

Oregon State's Seth Collins gets airborn during a run in the first half of an NCAA college football game against San Jose State in Corvallis, Ore., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/ Timothy J. Gonzalez)
Oregon State’s Seth Collins gets airborn during a run in the first half of an NCAA college football game against San Jose State in Corvallis, Ore., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/ Timothy J. Gonzalez)

Oregon State's Seth Collins, right, dives past San Jose State's Epie Sona, left, for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/ Timothy J. Gonzalez)
Oregon State’s Seth Collins, right, dives past San Jose State’s Epie Sona, left, for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/ Timothy J. Gonzalez)

Fresh n’ Local Foods

Recently I realized that the photos I have currently on my website did not have the types of photographs that local businesses would hire me for. I approached my friend, Evann Remington, president/ceo of Fresh n’ Local Foods, to get me started taken executive portraits. Evann graciously agreed and on Friday May 29th I had the pleasure to photograph her and her colleague, Alexis Jean, director of Business Development.

The session started with head shots. Evann has a background in modeling and was very at ease in front of the camera. Alexis may have been self conscious, but it did not so up in her photographs.

Evann Remington, president/ceo of Fresh n' Local Foods, photographed in Salem, Ore., on Friday, May 29, 2015.
Evann Remington, president/ceo of Fresh n’ Local Foods, photographed in Salem, Ore., on Friday, May 29, 2015.

Alexis Jean, director of Business Development of Fresh n' Local Foods, photographed in Salem, Ore., on Friday, May 29, 2015.
Alexis Jean, director of Business Development of Fresh n’ Local Foods, photographed in Salem, Ore., on Friday, May 29, 2015.

Evann and Alexis have a great relationship and it was good to be able to get a photo of the two together. The only issue is that Evann is over six feet tall, and she was wearing high heels for the shoot. After trying Alexis stand on a milk crate, Evann took off her high heels and Alexis had the idea of putting the heels on. It help level the playing field.

Evann Remington, president/ceo of Fresh n' Local Foods, photographed in Salem, Ore., on Friday, May 29, 2015.
Evann Remington, president/ceo of Fresh n’ Local Foods, photographed in Salem, Ore., on Friday, May 29, 2015.

Alexis Jean (left), director of Business Development of Fresh n' Local Foods, and Evann Remington, president/ceo, photographed in Salem, Ore., on Friday, May 29, 2015.
Alexis Jean (left), director of Business Development of Fresh n’ Local Foods, and Evann Remington, president/ceo, photographed in Salem, Ore., on Friday, May 29, 2015.

Evann mentioned to me that she is a certified fork lift operator. I asked if she wear special clothing when she operates it, and she told me she wears whatever she has on at the time.

Evann Remington, president/ceo of Fresh n' Local Foods, photographed in Salem, Ore., on Friday, May 29, 2015.
Evann Remington, president/ceo of Fresh n’ Local Foods, photographed in Salem, Ore., on Friday, May 29, 2015.

I was very happy with the results of the shoot with Evann and Alexis.